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CBP Announces Known Importer Letters Related to Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

CBP announced that it will issue letters to importers that may be affected by the rebuttable presumption outlined in the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in advance of its June 21, 2022, effective date.

On December 23, 2021, President Biden signed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act ("UFLPA" or the "Act") into law. The Act creates a rebuttable presumption that "any goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China" (or by an entity included on a list as required by the Act) are prohibited by 19 U.S.C. § 1307 and are not entitled to entry into the United States. To rebut this presumption, the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") must determine "that the importer of record has complied with specified conditions and, by clear and convincing evidence, that the goods, wares, articles, or merchandise were not produced using forced labor." 

This rebuttable presumption goes into effect on June 21, 2022. CBP has announced that in advance of this date, it will be "issuing letters to importers identified as having previously imported merchandise that may be subject to the Act to encourage those importers to address any forced labor issues in their supply chains in a timely manner." The announcement also makes clear that all companies, including those that do not receive a letter, are expected to ensure that their supply chains are free of forced labor (including convict labor, indentured labor, and forced or indentured child labor) and that the same are not used to produce goods imported into the United States. 

Companies should promptly and actively review their supply chains and institute adequate measures to ensure that goods are not being produced with forced labor of any kind. Further, companies should monitor and be prepared to comply with forthcoming governmental guidance and to respond to inquiries from CBP with sufficient support to establish that their goods were not produced with forced labor.

 

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